Access Title Agency Celebrates 11th Anniversary

Sales Down – Prices Up for Michigan Five County Real Estate

Due to a lack of inventory, the dollar volume of Real Estate sales in the Five County Michigan area was lower in September 2021 than it was in September 2020. The average days on the market dropped from 111 days to 66.

Because of the demand being greater than the supply, the Average price went up 29% and the median price went up 20%. Average price in September 2021 was $460,866 while the median price was $323,500.

The total number of sales for the five county area went down 24% to 320 sales.

Click on the image below for the full report


Michigan Bills to Watch Out For:

Alicia Schaub

On September 23, 2021, Representatives introduced a bi-partisan bill to amend “The General Property Tax Act.”

The most signature change would be the removal of the last section of the Act:

“Beginning with taxes levied in 1994, the millage reduction required by section 31 of article IX of the state constitution of 1963 shall permanently reduce the maximum rate or rates authorized by law or charter. The reduced maximum authorized rate or rates for 1994 shall equal the product of the maximum rate or rates authorized by law or charter before application of this section multiplied by the compounded millage reduction applicable to that millage in 1994 pursuant to subsections (8) to (12). The reduction maximum authorized rate or rates for 1995 and each year after 1995 shall equal the product of the immediately preceding year’s reduced maximum authorized rate or rates multiplied by the current year’s millage reduction fraction and shall be adjusted for millage for which authorization has expired and new authorized millage approved by the voters pursuant to subjects (8) to (12).”

We will have to wait to see if this Bill will pass the House and Senate, and what effect, if any, it will have on millage tax rates.

Five County Real Estate for August 2021

The Five County Michigan real estate boom took a short reprieve during the month of August when comparing 2021 to 2020 in the recent real estate trends.

The total number of sales and the total dollar volume went down when comparing August 2021 to August 2020, however the average sales price and median sales price continued to show increasing strength when comparing 2021 to 2020 in the five county area. However, Benzie and Antrim did drop slightly in average price and actually increased the median price like the 3 other counties.

Average days on the market dropped from 107 in August 2020 to 63 in August 2021.  Click Here or on the image below to the entire report.

Five County Michigan Real Estate Simmers Down

Total real estate dollar sales and the number of sales in 2021 were below July 2020 numbers. 2021 total dollar sales numbers still exceeded July 2019 numbers. The number of sales from 2021 compared to 2019 however were nearly 25% lower going from 411 sales in 2020 to 314 sales in 2021.

While sales numbers are smaller, the average and median prices continue their positive movement with the average price raising 17% and the median price of nearly 20% comparing July 2021 to July 2020.

The only anomalies towards upward trends from 2021 to 2020 pricing came from Leelanau County who’s average price dropped from $603,075 to $544,950. Another anomaly was a median sales price drop in Antim County to a median price from $258,000 to $245,000.

Average days on the market dropped from 95 in 2020 to 57 day in 2021.

Click on the Image Below for the entire sales report or click here.

Fraud Prevention Reminders

Alicia Schaub

It is important to always be aware of the signs for a cyber-attack and remind yourself of the ways to prevent fraud in our industry.

  1. ALWAYS verify wire instructions. Call our office upon receipt of wire instructions and verify with us that the account information you received is correct.
  2. Be aware of phishing attacks. This is most commonly in the form of an email asking for personal information or asking you to open a link. If the email seems suspicious, it is best to verify with the sender that the email is legitimate.
  3. Watch for red flags: unrecognized sender, noticeable grammar and spelling mistakes, requests for login information or to open unusual links, misspelling addresses, discrepancies in signatures, etc.
  4. If you receive an email stating that our wire instructions have changed, contact our office immediately. One method fraudsters will use is to reach out to a customer notifying them that the wire instructions have changed or that additional payments need to be sent to a new account immediately following a successful payment.
  5. Verify, Verify, Verify! And if you have concerns, feel free to reach out to our office.

Above and Beyond in Naples

Our Naples office recently finished a quick closing that had its challenges. It was a Mobile home in a Co-op community (yes, Virginia, there really are mobile homes in Naples!).

What was to be a quick closing turned into an even quicker one with one of the sellers being gravely/terminally ill in the hospital and time was running short.

The niece in title with her uncle had Power of Attorney but if the uncle was to pass away, the Power of Attorney was no longer valid. So, we rushed our title commitment, immediately reached out for estoppels, got the mobile home title company involved to prepare forms and got to work on preparing our forms and documents.

Another hurdle to jump was the title commitment disclosed that an Affidavit was needed as an Attorney’s office prepared the Power of Attorney and Deed previously and the Notary at the firm did not have ID for the uncle but notarized anyway with the id “to follow”.

The Notary no longer worked at the firm, so Karen scoured the internet to track her down. She thankfully was still in the surrounding area and lived next door to someone who still worked at the firm and would take the form to her to sign at night and notarize.

Two days later, we had the Affidavit. We proceeded to the finish line with an overnight package to the niece to sign while making funeral arrangements in advance for her uncle.

We closed the deal and the uncle stayed with us long enough to close but passed a day or two after closing. Our hearts go out to the family… is so stressful for them at times like this. Kudo to Robert for pulling another across the finish line!